- John Jett
- Horticulture Specialist
- WVU Extension Service
This article was published in the November 2000 issue of West Virginia Farm Bureau
With the onset of winter just around the corner, now is the time to prepare your lawns,
gardens, and landscapes for the months ahead.
- Remove leaves and mow lawns one last time after growth has stopped to reduce hiding
areas for moles and mice, and reduce incidence of snow mold on turf in the early spring.
- Fertilize lawns in late November to early December with a slow-release form of nitrogen
at a rate of 1 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet to promote root development and
early spring green-up.
- Remove garden debris and weeds to reduce incidence of disease and insects in the spring.
- If dry conditions exist, water lawns, trees, and shrubs until the ground begins to
freeze to prevent winter desiccation.
- Add mulches to prevent heaving of strawberries and perennials during periods of freezing
and thawing. Mulches around trees and shrubs will reduce the need for weeding in the
spring, help conserve moisture, and moderate soil temperatures.
- Aerate the lawn and overseed to reduce soil compaction and thatch buildup and to improve
- Wrap plants in exposed areas or those on south or west foundations with burlap to reduce
desiccation, protect tender flower buds, and support plants susceptible to snow load
- Protect trees and shrubs from mice and rabbits by enclosing the base of these plants
with hardware cloth.
- For a tree exhibiting poor growth with root feeders past the tree's dripline, fertilize
at the rate of 2 to 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of area under the tree.
- Store garden chemicals properly for the winter. Check product labels to see if
freezing will harm the products.
- Drain hoses and sprayers and check owner's manuals for instructions on how to winterize
mowers and other power equipment.
- Clean and lightly oil metal parts of hand tools and inventory those that need to be
repaired or replaced.
- Secure and fill birdfeeders.